Meet King Joe
- Publication date
- Public Domain
- Digitizing sponsor
- Harding College, Extension Department / Alfred P. Sloan Foundation
Presents 'KING JOE' as the average American working man who, by virtue of his high wages and short hours, is king of the world's workers.
Ken Smith sez: "American labor, management and capital -- the greatest production team in the history of mankind -- have made the United States the industrial master of the world."
This theatrical cartoon is one of the "fun and facts about America" series, made "to create a deeper understanding of what has made America the finest place in the world to live." Actually, it was financed by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, created by the chairman of General Motors, and its message in the labor-unruly late forties is clear. Joe, who wears overalls and talks with a pseudo-Brooklyn accent, is "king of the workers of the world" NOT because he is worthy, but because the machinery in his factory "multiplies strength and efficiency." This is part of "the "American way of doing things," the narrator tells us. We also learn that Joe is "king" not because he can exert power over anything (union rabble-rousers take note), but because "he can buy more with his wages than any other worker on the globe." Joe dutifully goes on a shopping spree to demonstrate.
As proof that the American system is the most wonderful on earth, the narrator informs us that Americans own 72% of the cars in the world, 92% of the bathtubs, and "practically all the refrigerators in existence." In the end, Joe sits atop a giant machine that spits out futuristic cars, TVs and washing machines at the yank of a lever. While America The Beautiful plays underneath, the narrator sums up the attitude industrial America was pushing: "Labor and management must continue to increase the production of better goods at lower prices so that more people will be able to buy the things that make life easier and happier for all of us."
A well-financed Technicolor cartoon.
- Closed captioning
- Run time
Subject: Had to work 69 hours a week.
Can I have a time machine please so I can make wagon parts?
Also with globalization the entire world has access to all these tools. So now what happens? With cheap labor and the tools of America being used by foreigners Americans labor is out of business. At least for the next 20 or so years. It's why only the service sector is looking for labor but that might not last forever with lower incomes.
The system does work if it stays within our market but it seems to fail when we allow market arbitrage. So now the corporatists of society have gained great leverage and are using cheap labor to make massive profits at America's expense, which translates directly into our national debt. Sure hope we figure this mess out soon before we lose our liberty in the name of global big business.
Subject: Great Name, Little Else.
Historical interest: 4/5, Fun factor 2/5, "I cant believe I found it" factor 3/5, Stupidity factor 5/5, animation 4/5. Final comment: Historically interesting but dull.
Subject: I just can't wait to be king!
Subject: Ultimate capitalist cartoon
Subject: Meet King Joe
Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: ***. Weirdness: ***. Historical Interest: *****. Overall Rating: ****. Also available on An American Retrospective Through Animation.
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